It wasn't the most impressive outing for David Price, but he stuck around just long enough to qualify for the win. Price was wild last night, throwing only 58% strikes and walking four batters, but he managed to last through five innings and strike out nine in the process. His pitches didn't generate as many swinging strikes as normal - only 11 swinging strikes, all on his fastball - but his four-seam fastball did supposedly touch 99.7 MPH (according to BrooksBaseball.net). Radar guns fluctuate from park to park, but that's still pretty darn impressive; Price was throwing heat last night.
While Garza and Davis have recently lost with better pitching performances, the Rays put enough offense on the board to support Price and get him his 15th win. This win makes Price holder of the franchise record for wins during the regular season, passing Edwin Jackson, Rolando Arrojo, and James Shields. While we don't like to use wins as an evaluative tool around here, it's nice to finally have the Rays' recent pitching depth show up in the record books. However you look at it, David Price is having one heck of a season thus far (15 wins, 2.84 ERA, 3.47 FIP); he's been everything we could have hoped for and more.
Offensively, the Rays' bats came alive, racking up a total of 11 hits and scoring six runs, even with only hitting .200 with runners in scoring position. Matt Joyce led the charge, getting the Rays their first run by cranking a solo homerun off Galarraga in the third inning. Evan Longoria's bat also showed some life, going two for four with a double and a run batted in. Every spot in the Rays' line-up reached base at least once last night, so it was a welcome site after the five game losing streak.
- Chad Qualls did a great job relieving Price and lasting a couple innings. He only let up two baserunners in an inning and two thirds, striking out two in the process. I miss Grant Balfour badly, but I've been impressed by what I've seen from Qualls so far.
- Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann have been placed on the DL, so it's Jeremy Hellickson time tonight. The bright side? No one can now accuse of of having an injury-free season. We've now lost JP Howell, Kelly Shoppach, Grant Balfour, Carlos Pena, Wade Davis, and Jeff Niemann to injuries at one point or another. You just have to roll with the punches...